Category: Education

Mmesoma appears before Reps panel, tenders general apology to Nigerians over forged UTME result

Miss Ejikeme Joy Mmesoma has once more expressed her regret to Nigerians and Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, Registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB).

In her apology, Ejikeme asked the board to balance justice with mercy and to overturn the three-year suspension JAMB had given her.

On Wednesday in Abuja, she spoke the letter of apology before the House of Representatives ad hoc committee looking into Miss Ejikeme Mmesom’s alleged manipulation of UTME results.

Remember how the House supported a motion to look into the alleged manipulation of UTME results by Mmesoma two weeks ago?

Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, the Registrar of JAMB, and its administration are present at the investigative hearing.

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JAMB Forgery:  Mmesoma admits scoring 249 “it is not my fault” she lament

Ejikeme Mmesoma, a girl at Anglican Girls Secondary School in Nnewi, Anambra State, who was suspected of falsifying her Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) result, has revealed she scored 249.

On Wednesday, Mmesoma participated in a Sunrise Daily interview on Channels TV.

Through JAMB’s assistance system, she claimed to have sent just one SMS to the organisation.

“They didn’t reply. If they check their JAMB Support System, they would see that I sent a text message. They didn’t reply. The one I checked through the USSD code is the one of 360 (sic) that I saw.

“After all said and done, I now saw that I got 249. I sent them a text message there to know what really happened — the JAMB Support System. If they go to their system, they will see it there,” she said.

JAMB disputed the 16-year-old’s earlier assertion that she obtained a 362 in the 2023 UTME.

However, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) later charged her with falsifying her results in a statement released by its spokesman, Dr. Fabian Benjamin.

Benjamin disclosed that according to the board’s records, the applicant had sent a number of messages to its automated telecoms system, including those with results totaling 362.

Her score was deemed to be “patently fake” by JAMB, who also claimed to have withheld it and prevented her from taking the test for the following three years.

Speaking on the result controversy, Mmesoma argued that she ought not to be blamed for the controversy, insisting that banning her for three years was not fair.  

She stated, “It’s not my fault that I printed my result like that and they said that I forged my result. It’s not my fault. So, them banning it is not fair.”

She went on to say that despite sending an SMS to JAMB via its support system, she received no answer.

The 19-year-old asserted that she printed her “results notification” slip for the UTME from the JAMB results portal, which showed a score of 362 out of 400.

They claimed that I falsified my results, although it’s not my fault that I printed them that way. I’m not to blame. Therefore, they should not have banned it, she claimed.

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JUST IN: JAMB conclude Investigations on Mmesoma’s result records multiple falsification

Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, the Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, announced on Tuesday that the Board has finished its inquiries into the case of Mmesoma Ejikeme, a candidate for the 2023 UTME who was suspected of inflating her score fraudulently.

This information was revealed by Oloyede in a transcript that was delivered to our journalist from Windhoek, Namibia.

He declared, “The inquiry into Nmesoma’s score fabrication matter has been completed by JAMB. Others have opted not to go outside, so she wasn’t the only one who got caught, Oloyede added.

“Presently, there is an industry faking results and unfortunately they cannot penetrate JAMB system, reasons being that (our) system is foolproofed and we will prove it any time. It is unfortunate that parents and some of the candidates that are being fooled are not aware that they are only being fooled.

“There is internal evidence to show that the change in Ejikeme’s scores was done with her collaboration. There are certain features pertaining to her that only her knows unless she makes it available to somebody else. They couldn’t have increased her scores on her behalf.”

The Registrar said he had earlier spoken with a former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, on Nmesoma’s matter, and told her that it was a high-level scam.

“Ejikeme and her collaborators are still living in the past because we upgraded our facilities this year. I discussed the situation with Mrs. Ezekwesili and informed her that it was a high-level swindle and a negligent forgery.

“This is because some of the methods they utilised to alter those outcomes since 2021 are no longer used by us. We applied same strategy in 2021, and you saw what transpired. Many of these people were also apprehended and dealt with appropriately, he said.

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0ver 300 Kaduna teachers lament non-payment of  salaries – NUT

Over 300 of their members, according to Syrus Hassan, Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers in Kaduna State’s Chikun Local Government Area, have not received paychecks in several months.

He revealed this in a conversation with reporters at a one-day conference titled “Dignity of a Teacher 2023,” which was held on Friday in Kaduna and was organized by Uncle Focus Educational Advise and General Contract Ltd.

Hassan continued by lamenting the fact that teachers were still falling behind in terms of welfare and that some of their members had gone months without receiving rewards and incentives like leave grants.

He said the government had tried its best in educating teachers by making it important for them to improve their knowledge and attend workshops, there was need for them to be paid their wages.

“The conference was educative and would add value, dignity and respect to teachers who found their way to the conference,” he said, adding that it was to enlighten and update their (teachers) knowledge on modern techniques.

“The government has tried its best in educating teachers for making it important for them to see the need to improve knowledge and attend workshops.

“Actually, to say the truth, teachers are still lacking behind in terms of welfare. We want to thank them, but up till now some teachers are still not getting one or two benefits and incentives like leave grants for years but we know that it cannot go round.

“We’ve been pressing on to see that the teachers are paid but up till now, we still have a number of them that have not been paid for several months.

“Unpaid teachers are up to about 300,” he lamented, calling on the government to pay the wages of teachers who are owed salary arrears, as he blamed the development on bureaucratic bottleneck and long process procedures.

“Some of the old teachers are having certificate saga. It was realised that their certificate had issues. Some have been cleared and approvals were given (for them) to be paid, but till now, they have not been paid. Non-teaching staff members like security workers, nannies amongst others, and regular employees, have also not been paid for almost two years now.

Ziniyet Hillary, the head consultant and co-founder of Uncle Focus Educational Consult and General Contract Ltd, also gave a speech. She described how her company’s mission is to improve education in Kaduna, Nigeria, Africa, and the rest of the globe.

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NUC to shutdown varsities for elections

In order to allow students to participate in the 2023 general elections, universities nationwide have been ordered to close by Nigeria’s regulating body for higher education, the National Universities Commission.

The NUC said that the direction was based on the directive of the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, in a letter sent to the vice chancellors of all universities and the directors of inter-university centers.

“As Vice-Chancellors of all Universities and Director/Chief Executive of Inter-University Centres are quite aware the 2023 General Elections have been scheduled to hold on Saturday, February 25, 2023, for the Presidential and National Assembly, and Saturday, March 11, 2023, for Gubernatorial and State Assembly, respectively.

“In view of the foregoing and concerns expressed on the security of staff, students and properties of our respective institutions, the Honourable Minister of Education, Mal. Adama Adamu has following extensive consultations with the relevant security agencies, directed that all Universities and Inter-University Centres be shut down and academic activities be suspended between February 22 and March 14, 2023.

“Consequently, Vice-Chancellors and chief executives of inter-university centres, are by this Circular requested to shut down their respective Institutions from Wednesday 22nd February 2023 to Tuesday 14th March 2023.

“Please, accept the renewed assurances of the Executive Secretary ‘s highest regard for your understanding and unwavering cooperation”, the letter from the NUC read.

The PUNCH reports that there have been calls from the public for the closure of tertiary institutions to enable students to vote during the 2023 elections.

The data from the Independent National Electoral Commission reveals that over 26 million students are currently registered.

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FG unveils multi-billion naira TETFund facilities in NDA, others 

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund has announced its sponsorship of annual intervention projects at the nation’s top military university, the Nigeria Defence Academy, the Nigerian Airforce Institute of Technology, Kaduna Polytechnic, and Kaduna State University. President Muhammadu Buhari, unveiled the projects on Tuesday.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Defence, Senator Aliyu Wamakko, represented the President, who noted that the projects at NDA gulped over N685 million, AFIT over N604 million, KASU over N491 million, and Kaduna Polytechnic over N450 million for the 2020–2021 annual intervention and merged projects.

The inaugurated projects at NDA included a Computer Based Test hall, Faculty of Management and Military Science buildings while that of  AFIT, Department of Cyber Security,  Students’ Hostel of the 2020 Zonal Intervention, and Students’ Hostel of the 2021 Zonal Intervention. 

Also, at The Kaduna Polytechnic, some of the commission projects are the newly constructed Department of Railway Engineering, Classrooms for Chemical Engineering and High-Grade Oxygen Plant for Medicals.

In his remarks shortly after the launching, Senator Wamakko stressed the importance of education in the nation’s development, adding that inaugurating the projects, would in no small measure enhance teaching and learning in According to him, education forms an integral part of President Buhari’s administration agenda. 

He said, “Education as we all know, plays a critical role in the socio-economic development of nations, and therefore, the commissioning of these projects today would in no small measure further enhance teaching and learning and improvement of academic standards.

“I wish to reiterate that education forms an integral part of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s agenda, hence the Federal Government would continue to provide necessary support towards making our educational institutions globally competitive for the economic and technological development of the country.

“It is on record that through the support of the Federal Government, TETFund has performed exceptionally in the provision of physical infrastructure, support for academic staff training and development, book publication, ICT, Research and Development amongst others in public tertiary educational institutions across the country.

“I am delighted to note that the Airforce Institute of Technology, Kaduna and other public tertiary educational institutions in Kaduna State have not been exempted from these intervention efforts of TETFund.” 

Earlier, the NDA Commandant,  Major General  Ibrahim Yusuf said the institution had received over N8.2 billion in support from the TETFund in the last seven years.

He explained that about N6 billion of the money went into infrastructural development while N2.2 billion was spent on training, research and publication, library and ICT, among others.

He added that the NDA currently has nine ongoing TETFund projects from the merged funds for 2019 to 2022 interventions.

Also speaking,  the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Sonny Echono, said the event marked the start of a major TETFund activity in 2023.

Echono, represented by Director of Monitoring and Evaluation, Olatunde Olajide, said that in 2023, 162 iconic TETFund projects would be inaugurated in 54 tertiary institutions spread across 28 states.

According to him, the financing of the projects by TETFund is a clear demonstration of the Federal Government’s commitment to the provision of requisite physical infrastructure in the nation’s public tertiary institutions.

“It is our commitment at TETFund to ensure that value is obtained for funds allocated to the benefitting institutions to aid teaching, learning and research and by implication, make them globally competitive,” he said.

Echono then hailed the authorities of the NDA for successfully completing the three projects among other notable ones being executed in the Academy with TETFund support.

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UPDATED: Deadline remains Jan 31 for old naira notes —CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria has stated that the deadline for the old 200, 500, and 1,000 naira notes to stop being legal cash in the nation on January 31 cannot be extended.

After the Monetary Policy Committee meeting on Tuesday in Abuja, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, reaffirmed the position of the top bank.

Emefiele further argued that Nigerians had been given adequate time to exchange their old notes for new ones.

This is as he also said that kidnapping and ransom-taking had reduced since the three banknotes were redesigned.

Many Nigerians have however lamented the unavailability and scarcity of the new notes, decrying that banks up till today, were still giving out the old naira notes to customers with the deadline only a few days away.

The CBN launched a national currency swap operation to allow people in unbanked areas to exchange their old notes before the deadline of January 31 while excluding Lagos and Abuja mobile money/Point of Sales operators from the program in an effort to ensure that everyone is carried along.

In order to increase the circulation of the redesigned naira notes, the CBN recently instructed commercial banks to immediately suspend over-the-counter withdrawal of the new notes and load their automated teller machines with them.

However, despite the apex bank’s efforts, bank clients have persisted in bemoaning the lack of availability of the new notes.

The Managing Directors/Chief Executive Officers of the banks, under the auspices of the Bankers’ Committee, are to meet with an ad hoc committee of the House to be chaired by the Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, on Wednesday (tomorrow).

The meeting is for the banks to explain the alleged supply shortage from the Central Bank of Nigeria, after which the lawmakers would invite the leadership of the apex bank for questioning.

The House further resolved that the window for swapping the old notes with the new ones be extended by six months.

In the meantime, the Senate made a similar request to the top bank on Tuesday, asking for an extension of the deadline from January 31 to July 31, 2023.

The CBN revealed its intention to redesign the three banknotes on October 26, 2022. On November 23, 2022, President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) introduced the revised N200, N500, and N1,000 notes, and the apex bank set a deadline of January 31 for the existing notes to remain valid.

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Jamb to reduce CBT centres, CBT operators raise alarm

Candidates for the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination will endure tension and anguish, according to the Association of Tutorial School Operators.

This was in response to the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board’s decision to reduce the number of computer-based centers throughout the nation.

The reduction was disclosed by the JAMB Registrar, Prof. Isaq Oloyede, during a Monday meeting in Ikeja, Lagos, with commissioners for education from all over the nation.

It was gathered that JAMB reduced the centres for reasons such as poor facilities, not complying with the guidelines of the Board, and involvement in examination malpractice among others.

Though the total number of CBT centres axed by the board was not given, investigations revealed that in Ogun State, the number of CBT centres was reduced from 43 to 21, in Abia State, the number was reduced from 21 to 14 and in Kogi State, it was reduced from 17 to 16.

But in an interview with news media,  the ASTO National President, Dotun Sodunke, explained that though it was a good step to curb substandard CBT centres in the country, he, however, added that the few available centres would not be enough for the candidates to conveniently sit 2023 UTME.

He said, “The CBT reduction will make candidates pass through a lot of rigours to sit the exam. I can’t imagine the stress and risks the students will experience. Some of the may be taken to far away CBT centres due to the reduction. A candidate in Surulere may be taken to Badagry. By the time the candidates go through the high cost of transportation, travel long distances, and sleep in hotels to sit the exam, some will get kidnapped, raped and a lot will fail and we won’t get the best into our universities. It is not worth it.”

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Student Loan: Defaulters To Be Jailed, ASUU Objects

According to a news report, the Students Loan Bill that the National Assembly recently passed proposed two years in prison or N500,000 or both for students who default on their loan payments or anyone found helping defaulters.

The National Assembly recently enacted the Student Loan Bill, which has drawn heavy criticism, into law as part of efforts to resolve funding issues in the nation’s tertiary institutions of learning.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, reportedly issued a warning against the Student Loan Bank’s planned condemnation in the Student Loan Bill.

A Bill for an Act to Provide for Easy Access to Higher Education for Nigerians Through an Interest-Free Loan from the Nigerian Education Bank Established in This Act to Provide Education for Nigerians and Other Purposes Connected Thereto was the name of the bill that Gbajabiamila supported.

The bill aims to create the Nigerian Education Bank, which will have the authority to oversee, coordinate, manage, and administer student loans across the nation.

It will also receive applications for student loans through higher institutions in Nigeria on behalf of the applicants and screen the applications to ensure that all requirements for the grant of such loans under the Act are satisfied.

 Also, the bank shall have the powers to approve and disburse to qualified applicants and ensure compliance in respect of disbursement, and monitor academic records of grantees to obtain information on their year of graduation, national service, and employment to ensure that grantees of the loan commence repayment as at when due, among other functions.

 According to the Act, all students seeking higher education in public institutions of higher learning in Nigeria shall have an equal right to access the loan without any discrimination arising from gender, religion, tribe, position or disability.

On the repayment plan, the bill recommends that “Any beneficiary of the loan to which this Act refers shall commence repayment two years after completion of the National Youth Service Corps programme.”

It also recommended that repayment shall be by direct deduction of 10 per cent of the beneficiaries’ salary at source by the employer and credited to the students’ loan account to be prescribed by the bank.

“Where the beneficiary is self-employed, he shall remit 10% of his total profit monthly to the student loan account to be prescribed by the bank.

“For the purpose of sub-section 3 above, a self-employed person shall, within 60 days of assuming that status, submit all information such as the name of business, address and location, registration documents, registered, name of bankers, names of partners, name of directors and shareholders to the Commission.

“Anyone in default of the provisions of sub-section 4 above or

 found to be aiding the default of any of the provisions of this Act is guilty of an offence and if convicted shall be liable to imprisonment for two years or a fine of N500,000 or both.”

The head of the Federal University of Technology, Minna chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof. Gbolahan Bolarin, described the law in a conversation with our correspondent in Abuja on Tuesday as “dead on arrival.”

He stated that, “The problem in Nigeria is that we copy policies from other countries and want to replicate them in our country without considering the situation here. Where are the jobs in Nigeria? There are graduates from over 20 years ago who are still jobless. Now the thing about this scheme is that as you repay, another person gets access to the loan.

“Now that the scheme will provide N1m per year, suppose a student comes to FUTMinna and stays for five years. That means you will receive N5m; what is the guarantee that you will get a job to pay it back? As of today, the minimum wage is N30, 000. Is it feasible?

“From the beginning, ASUU fought against it because of these issues. There are no two ways about it; this scheme is not going to be sustainable. You can see universities hiking fees, more universities will do this because governing councils of schools are looking for ways to fund schools; before you know it, the level of enrolment in public universities will be reduced.”

Additionally, Ayodamola Oluwatoyin, an advocate for education who spoke with our correspondent in Abuja, pointed out that a law of this nature cannot be effective in Nigeria.

She said, “I am very concerned about the repayment options. In Nigeria, graduates have issues getting jobs after graduation; we are also in a country where the conditions are not favourable for business.

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Gbajabiamila should to apologise to ASUU – Falana 

Femi Falana, Senior Advocate of Nigeria and principal attorney for the Academic Staff Union of Universities, has urged Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila to extend an apology to the union’s members.

The speaker was criticized by the human rights attorney for contradicting the settlement struck with ASUU.

Falana revealed in a text message to our correspondent that Gbajabiamila’s efforts to resolve issues relating to the government and ASUU strike were cut short by a member of the Federal Executive Council.

The speaker was accused of misleading the union by Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, the president of ASUU. On Wednesday, though, a number of legislators spoke out in support of the speaker.

Falana however said, “It is public knowledge that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila intervened in the last strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.  Several meetings were held with the relevant stakeholders by the leadership of the House. While briefing the Nigerian people on the resolution of the crisis on October 10, 2022, the Speaker did categorically state as follows:

“We agreed with ASUU and the government on certain things which we took to Mr President. I have visited the president twice. The first time we made our recommendations with the government shifting some and ASUU shifting some. We spoke with Mr President. There was one sticking issue which was the issue of no work no pay. And the President did ask that he would suggest the recommendations and would have one more meeting which we did on Friday after the budget.

“That meeting was even better than the first one we had with him, and Mr President had agreed to settle things. I am not going to talk about that now, and that he would disclose whatever it is tomorrow,  Tuesday which is tomorrow.”

And when the Federal Government turned around to renege on the vexed issue of “no work, no pay” the Speaker assured the lecturers on October 24, 2022, of his ability to resolve the issues in dispute.

According to Gbajabiamila, “The Executive position that it is not obligated to pay salaries to lecturers for the time spent on strike is premised on the law and the government’s legitimate interest in preventing moral hazard and discouraging disruptive industrial actions.

“Nonetheless, interventions have been made to explore the possibility of partial payments to the lecturers. We look forward to a favourable consideration by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR who has manifested his desire to what is prudent and necessary to resolve all outstanding issues.”

“From the information at my disposal, the intervention of the House Leadership in resolving the crisis was sabotaged by a member of the Federal Executive Council.

“Having been embarrassed by the circumstance, the Speaker should have apologised to the ASUU and the Nigerian people instead of denying the agreement reached with ASUU and President Buhari on the decision of the Federal Government to pay for the period covered by the strike. The Agreement was based on the commitment of the lecturers to ensure that the 2021/2022 academic session was not cancelled.”

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